Posted by: Jonathan Stepp | January 28, 2009

The Trinity and the Church

What does the Church need to be doing right now? There’s a very interesting interview with the theologian Elmer Colyer over at that I highly recommend you watch. It’s only about 30 minutes but Elmer has some very interesting things to say about God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and how our knowledge of him in Jesus Christ impacts the way we do Church.

To watch the video go to and look for the video on the front page labeled “You’re Included.”

Here’s some quotes from Elmer that really resonated with me (at the end of each quote is the time marker of when in the interview he makes that comment):

The early Church of Acts had no program of evangelism, no program of being culturally relevant, but what it did have is it had such a profound community of love that people wanted to become a part of it. It had a compelling witness all of its own without trying to be relevant to the culture’s terms. 16’51”

It’s not coincidental that in American Evangelicalism . . . the doctrine of the Trinity has not been the primary doctrine of God, it’s been the doctrine of the one God, the solitary individual . . . a super-model of the American individual. 17’37”

Quite frankly, I’d like to call a halt to all of those programs for a period of time… Sometimes what has to happen to us in our Christian life and in the Church – we have to utterly fail so miserably on our own with our vision of what it means to be a Christian and what it means to be a Church that we begin to go back and ask what God’s vision is of the Church and what it means to be a Christian. 22’02”

When the Church begins to manifest something of the miracle – the mystery and the freedom of the gospel – in our life together in the Church we’ll not have any problem bearing witness to our faith in the world around us, it will come spontaneously as an overflow of the power of the gospel. It’s because we’re trying to substitute something else for what only God can provide us – the miraculous character of Christian faith – that all those programs don’t work. 23’23”

When you go into a congregation and you want to bring about renewal you have to start with the basics of the gospel. 26’53”



  1. I, too, thought Colyer’s interview was very significant – I watched it yesterday and want to share it with others as well. The gospel is so profound, so powerful, so mysterious, yet so simple! This interview, if you allow, is very freeing!

  2. When we the church come to understand that we truly have our very life in the triune God and all humanity is there also.When it’s not just lip service but we truly understand .THEN we can see that Jesus has redemed everything that is!!!Then jn14:20 will be reconized.WE’LL know that loveing our fellow human is in fact loveing the TRIUNE GOD .For HE has in us made his delling.act2:17 Where Spirit is, there also are the Father and SON.

  3. Hi Jonathan
    I resonate with what has been said here and what I heard in the interview. I believe our frustrations will become more and more the leaps of joy as Jesus continues to open doors so that others also may come to know His sharing ministry of love to all humanity. It’s what body life is all about! It’s always about the other person! Painfully learning this in my own life! Knowing that we are dead but alive in Christ will do that to you! jg

  4. Thanks, guys, for your encouraging and helpful comments!

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